Merry Christmas, y’all! Looking back, I’m trying to remember any official celebration of Advent. I think I might have had a chocolate calendar one year as a child. However, as this year’s 12/25 draws near, I want to make every effort to “let my heart prepare Him room.”
I plan to accomplish this in two ways. First, I am working through an Advent devotional entitled “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” I was drawn to the book primarily due to its title (a favorite carol of mine), but primarily I appreciate the range of voices represented in Guthrie’s collection, from Luther to Keller.
Second, I plan to reflect on Christmas music. I tried and tried to wait until post-Thanksgiving to delve back into the holiday genre, but the moment I got the pre-release download of Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn’s new Christmas album, I made a worthwhile exception. But, as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” tells us, “Christmas time is here …,” which means, with full respect to Thanksgiving, I can now unabashedly listen to any and all holiday tunes.
So, for every day leading up to Christmas, I would like to highlight one of my favorite songs and in the process also some of my favorite albums and artists. Today I begin with the first track off perhaps my favorite Christmas album. Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken contribute their modified interpretation of “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (Charles Wesley, 1744) as the first track on “Your King Has Come.” Their slow, stripped-down version allows for just enough pause to drink in Wesley’s sound and solid lyrics.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.
You can go here for the song in its entirety, the whole album actually. Enjoy friends! We’ll explore another tomorrow.